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57 GHawk Power Steering / Alignment is off "re-visited"

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  • #16
    I'll try get under my car this weekend and measure it. I do remember it has a slight bend in the middle like the one you have that I can see in the one photo. 20yrs ago when I built the car, none of the major vendors had any of these new. There are places that could make one.

    Jeff in ND

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    • #17
      Thanks Doofus, Rich, Jeff and all.
      I was a bit too eager in my "quick measurement" the other night (in my good jeans and coat). I think I must have snagged the ANGLED-OUT tips of the zerks with the tape measure (and didn't have a great angle of view) when I got ~15" "zerk to zerk". Today, I got right in there, good lighting, and measured from center-line of each zerk, and indeed mine is also about 14 1/2". (same as Doofus's '57 Hawk, and HIS steering is apparently all 'normal'...) Overall, my reach-rod is ~16", but only matters if that Catalog length of 14 5/8" IS "end to end" obviously.

      I looked in the Parts Catalog and found the section on POWER Steering Rich quoted, and indeed lists 14 5/8" length. So, I'm interested to see what you find out Jeff. I called Brent Hagan (who just sold his last NOS reach-rod in September), but he believes that 'length' is center-line to center-line of the zerk (more specifically, the distance between the threaded shafts, positioned to enter the holes in the pitman arm and bell-crank). That would be the measurement of importance "to the car", to be sure. Anyway, if that is correct, (and Doofus did measure ~14 1/2", which is likely 14 5/8"?) on his 57........ doggone it, mine is correct and I still don't know what is going on. :-) Becoming personal now! Who's going to win, the dang car or the owner? (yeah, I'd bet on the car too). Let's see what Jeff measures.
      Again, I've got a couple turns left in the left tie-rod, with tire straight, so WILL WORK, just a puzzle I'd like to solve. If Brent can find a used one (thinks he has one or two, plus has a 56J) he'll measure it both ways and I'll post also, just to close the door on the dimension question of the proper reach rod for anyone who ever digs up this post in the future.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by studegary View Post
        It looks to me like the pitman arm is off rotationally relative to the gear box. Is this possible?
        I still see this. No comment by anyone?
        Gary L.
        Wappinger, NY

        SDC member since 1968
        Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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        • #19
          Sorry Gary, I thought I had covered that earlier but my posts get wordy. My pitman arm has matching cogs to the shaft; (I took the whole unit off again after your comments this week JUST TO BE SURE since I had not taken any photos. DID this time. :-) Good idea though! I was SO HOPING to find an extra cog or two! :-(
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          Last edited by bsrosell; 12-13-2020, 02:31 PM.

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          • #20
            ANSWER IS IN: Brent Hagan pulled both of the 'interchangeable" reach-rods that would be correct (or work) on my 57 GHawk w/ Saginaw power steering (photo below).
            Both are 14 5/8" ZERK CENTERLINE TO ZERK CENTERLINE.
            Which means my reach rod IS correct (and with the bend in it, probably original or at least CORRECT replacement if ever was replaced)

            Well, I give up on this one, "car wins" :-) Have exhausted all possibilities I can think of for the non-centered bell-crank and 1" difference between the two tie-rod lengths. But as Jeff said ealier, "it will work". Moving on. Thanks all!

            Brent's comments below for reference:

            (Brent Hagan:"two styles, 534416 used on 1955 CK with PS, and 1539894, 1956-58 with Saginaw PS; both 14 5/8" zerk to zerk. Both interchange".)
            Click image for larger version

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            • #21
              I took a look at the drag link in my '53 that came from a '57 Hawk. The grease fitting on the front end to the about the center of the bolt at the pitman arm at the back is ~ 14-1/2" hard to be 100% sure. This is the straight line distance not accounting for the slight bend in the middle.

              Per the the '51-'54 chassis manual, this drag link is P/N 534416 and is 14-5/8" long. The corresponding sedan P/N 534415 is 13-5/16" long. Seems they are measuring center to center on these parts. So, a sedan part should be notably different by about a inch.


              Jeff in ND

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              • #22
                Thanks so much for taking the time to measure yours Jeff! Appreciated. Yep, agrees with what I just posted from Brent. Mine is correct, and mystery will live on. One thing Brent just texted me (as we debated this puzzle), he had his son's Stude (60 something?) to 3 different alignment shops before the third one got it right, "drove perfect".. Doesn't remember the specific problem or what the 3rd shop did different to make it work, but at least begs the question 'maybe those tie-rods werent exactly equal length" leaving the factory either. Though again, hard to believe the car left with only two threads left on the Driver's tie-rod. Promise; I'm moving on now! :-)

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                • #23
                  You start out by talking of the "rebuild of original Saginaw power steering".
                  Did that include sending the gear box out for a rebuild?
                  Who did the work?

                  I would suspect they replaced the pitman shaft, sometimes called the sector shaft, with one that had the splines clocked differently.

                  While I agree SOME adjustment may make the left and right tie rod ends slightly different lengths, anything more than one or two turns indicates an issue that should be dealt with.

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                  • #24
                    It won't be factory correct, but it should not be hard to make a reach rod that is adjustable.
                    Ron Dame
                    '63 Champ

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                    • #25
                      Lynn, I rebuilt the Saginaw box and pump myself with a kit from Phil Harris. That stuff is the FUN part of the hobby for me. I'm about done with the 'fun', chassis is done, that dang body sits on its cart taunting me now :-(
                      Anyway, all the same parts went back in, only new bearing/seals/O-rings, and very careful attention to the Shop Manual (and many posts here!). Now, was it ever rebuilt in the past and had something replaced? Sure doesn't appear to ever have been molested (no extra prick marks or anything anywhere to indicate it's ever been apart). And only 60,000 some miles on the car. But, who knows.....

                      Yeah, "an issue that should be dealt with", but I've exhausted every possibility now that I, or more imporantly all the folks much smarter (and experienced) than I on this Forum can think to check. All "check out" as ok or correct original parts. Open to other suggestions!
                      Re: modifying a reach-rod, I think I'd rather have "different length' tie-rods, than a reach-rod that I'm depending on life-and-death being cut and welded. That doesn't do anything but make my tie-rods the same length. I'm annoyed with, as Lynn says, "indicates an issue", and I've done everything we can think of and failed to discover it.
                      Last edited by bsrosell; 12-17-2020, 06:11 PM.

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